By Muhaimin Olowoporoku
Professor Peter Ogban has been sentenced to three-year imprisonment after he was found guilty of fraudulent manipulation of election results.
He was also found guilty of publishing and announcing false results.
The University professor was sentenced by a High Court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Thursday.
Ogban, a professor of soil science at the University of Calabar, and returning officer in the 2019 general election in Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District, was charged with manipulating the election results of two local government areas Oruk Anam and Etim Ekpo.
Ogban told the court how the results of the election were falsified to give the All Progressives Congress (APC) an unfair advantage over its main rival, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Prosecution counsel, Clement Onwenwunor, presented five exhibits and called two lecturers, Dr. John Enoidem and Dr. Itemobong Ekaidem from the University of Uyo, as witnesses.
During cross-examination by the defence counsel, the witnesses, who are senior lecturers at the University of Uyo, stated that the results they presented were different from the ones the accused declared.
Godswill Akpabio, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, was the APC candidate in the election. He was seeking a return to the Senate after he defected from the PDP.
The PDP candidate, Chris Ekpenyong, a former deputy governor in Akwa Ibom State, defeated Mr. Akpabio in the election which was marred by violence.
Mr. Ogban was prosecuted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the landmark case.